- Vol. 09
- Chapter 02
Agatha and Me
It’s the beginning of the end for me. I’m a date unknown, anonymous, third century relic that lives in a glass case, a two-minute walk from the souvenir shop. By the time visitors get to me, their cameras hang around their necks like unbecoming jewellery. Rectangular objects point at my fellow exhibits and Lilliputians leave fingerprints on my windows.
If they know who I really am, I would be just as famous as that minuscule portrait Lisa, whom I met centuries ago in Fontainebleau.
Agatha and I galloped across the fields filled with wildflowers and prickly pears. Just before the sun set behind our friend Etna, Agatha let me graze in alpine pasture. Her pastel coloured robe brushed against the grassland as she peeled the green and yellow fruit, devouring the flesh and seeds.
You see, my Agatha was Saint Agatha. I’m the wooden horse she lay upon after she answered no to a man.
I turned away from Saint Agatha when she held her two milk-secreting glands. Stared at the cold stones and shut my eyelids. But she walked toward me and combed my mane with her lovely long fingers. "Don’t cry my friend," she whispered, between iron bars.
She scooped her robe from the cobbled surface and wrapped it around her fragmented torso. The magic robe didn’t soak the sanguinary surface. It was still a gentle rose and blue, like the crystal clear waters of the Ionian Sea. I struggled, but she found light and beauty in darkness. Ears pinned back, I wanted to lift myself on my hind legs and pounce on evil.
Saint Peter sheathed my crest and withers with her pastel robe when Saint Agatha rose to an unearthly realm. "She wanted you to wear her robe, my friend." My friend. She used to call me that. Saint Peter called me his friend, but I felt so alone.
Agatha and Me
The robe became threadbare. Its fibres sat on my forelock, rained down over my vibrissae at the turn of the fourth century, fused with my skin and bones. I ran wild across the kaleidoscope centuries.
Pastel fibres did not halt my death but my soul lived on.
In lands near and far, they celebrate Saint Agatha, and that makes me neigh and whinny. Some truths never enter oral lore, never touch ink. Maybe one day, something buried resurfaces and on that day I will become the centrepiece. They will move me to another room, right next to Lisa’s. I will exist again, if only for a few moments. Decades within a brass frame. Share the pages of a book with pressed begonias. Cover those strange rectangular gadgets that people hold up in mid-air.
I want love and reminiscence like Saint Agatha, but don’t we all?